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MD senators sign letter against offshore oil tests

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Maryland's two U.S. Senators are among those signing a letter to the president opposing seismic testing for oil and gas deposits off the Atlantic coast.

Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin are among the eight senators who signed the letter sent Wednesday. Twenty-two members of the U.S. House also signed a similar letter.

The letter says seismic testing will harm marine life and threatens fisheries and seafood harvests. They say seismic testing has been shown to cut catches up to 80 percent, and commercial and recreational fishing in the Mid-Atlantic and southeastern Atlantic supports 222,000 jobs.

The Interior Department announced last year that it was seeking comment from the public on a plan to allow energy companies to begin seismic testing to find oil and gas reserves in the Atlantic.